The highway corridor between Boys Road and Beverly Street along the Trans-Canada has long been a crime hot spot.

Businesses, local governments, and other stakeholders are looking to change that by setting up a community safety office at 490 Trans-Canada Highway.

North Cowichan council has authorized the signing of a lease for the old Duncan Music sight and Mayor Al Siebring said the cost will be split right down the middle with the City of Duncan.

“We also authorized a 50-50 cost split for the security, the increased street presence, in the form of community ambassadors, that’s a 50-50 split with Duncan, with them taking the lead on that they’re actually hiring those people and we’re reimbursing them the 50 percent.”

Siebring added, “They’re reimbursing us the 50 percent on the rent and the capital improvements on the facility.”

Although it’s early on in the process, Siebring said local business owners are already seeing signs of progress.

“We’ve already increased street presence, I was at Kim Roy’s restaurant for the lunch the other day and they’re telling me that they’re noticing a big improvement on the streets,” said Siebring.

He continued, “Because we’ve already improved the street presence of our bylaw and street ambassadors and this office will just further enhance that by giving staff a place to go and a central location to work out of.”

Siebring expects to be in the office by September 1, and some improvements will be made before the site is ready for its new function in the middle of September.